Despite Pandemic, Food & Friends to Prepare and Deliver 3,500 Thanksgiving Meals
Volunteer and staff adapt operations to ensure more than 700 families still receive a festive holiday meal
WHAT: A wonderful D.C. tradition continues this Thanksgiving, as Food & Friends’ staff and volunteers prepare and deliver 3,500 complete holiday meals to adults and children in the D.C. region facing HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-challenging illnesses. Due to social distancing restrictions, volunteers are working hard in smaller shifts in the weeks proceeding Thanksgiving to prepare the meals. On Thanksgiving Day, nearly 200 volunteer drivers will come through the Fort Totten Metro parking lot to pick up meals and do contactless deliveries across the region.
Staff and volunteers are preparing 8,520 pounds of turkey, 1,065 pounds of roasted potatoes, 1,065 pounds of cornbread stuffing, and 5,680 dinner rolls the days leading up to Thanksgiving. Each Thanksgiving delivery will feed five people.
“This year especially, everyone deserves a celebration. The reality is that even during the holidays our clients, who suffer from chronic and complex medical issues, would otherwise be unable to celebrate in the most basic and necessary way – with a warm Thanksgiving meal for their families,” says Carrie Stoltzfus, Executive Director of Food & Friends. “These children and families deal with serious issues every day, but we can make Thanksgiving a much better holiday. Setting some extra places at the table is our Thanksgiving tradition.”
This year, Food & Friends is proud to have Giant Food as the lead sponsor of the holiday event. Food & Friends depends on the support of the entire community to make Thanksgiving a reality for its clients and will deliver 1.2 million meals this coming year.
WHEN: November 23 – 24, and Thanksgiving Day, Thursday Nov. 26, 6 a.m. – 12 p.m.
WHO: Hundreds of volunteers will join Food & Friends staff in physically-distanced Thanksgiving meal packing and delivery pickups.
WHERE: Activities will be split between two locations this year:
Food packing: Beginning 6 a.m. at Food & Friends’ facility, 219 Riggs Road NE, Washington, DC, 20011
Delivery pickups (11/26 only): Beginning 7:30 a.m. at Fort Totten Metro Station Parking Lot
VISUALS / INTERVIEWS:
Reporters and cameras are invited into the Food & Friends kitchen Nov 23 – 24 as chefs and volunteers prepare the Thanksgiving meals. On Thanksgiving Day, media are invited to cover both the indoor, physically distanced packing operation and outdoor delivery pickup operation. Opportunities to accompany a delivery and interview a meal recipient are available upon request. Interview opportunities include Food & Friends’ CEO, chefs and volunteers. Live shot opportunities are available and encouraged!
ABOUT FOOD & FRIENDS: Food & Friends is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit organization that provides home-delivered, specialized meals and nutrition counseling to people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, diabetes and other life-challenging illnesses. Food & Friends’ services are free-of-charge to recipients who qualify solely based on their health status and nutritional need. Monday-Saturday, including holidays, staff and volunteers deliver to 5,300 square miles including the District of Columbia, seven counties in Maryland, and seven counties and six independent cities in Virginia. Since 1988, Food & Friends has delivered more than 23 million meals to 37,000 individuals. For more information, please visit www.foodandfriends.org, Facebook (/foodandfriends), Twitter (@foodandfriends) or Instagram (@foodandfriendsdc).
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